I made this dress to cheer myself up. I am not a winter person. Lack of sunshine depresses me and I find it really difficult to get motivated. We usually try and get away to somewhere sunny for Christmas but this year it didn’t work out so I am stuck here feeling like I am wishing my life away until the days get longer and my body chemistry can re-balance. Add to that a huge bill for essential car repairs just before Christmas and a mad couple of weeks at work and all I really want to do at the moment is curl up in front of the fire with a large gin and read serial killer stories. I forced myself to sew because I know that doing something creative is the best way to make myself snap out of a low. And yes, I should have probably found a more cheerful fabric, the black definitely reflects the mood I was in when I started this project.
Luckily I was right, sewing this dress made me feel a hundred times better. It’s the Dixie DIY Ballet dress and making it has cheered me up no end for a number of reasons.
Firstly I have managed to use another piece from the stash. I got this cotton (I think?) jersey fabric from the market at the Birmingham meet up, along with pretty much everyone else who was there. It is quite lightweight and has a nice drape.
Next, it is really easy to make. The front and back are cut on the fold so there are only seven pieces to cut out including the sleeves and the neck band. I did add side seam pockets, so that added another four pieces, but, well, pockets. And there are no fastenings. It’s a knit so I didn’t bother finishing the seams, which also speeded things up considerably, and I used my machine because my serger is threaded with white at the moment and I didn’t fancy re-threading it. I’m afraid I also cheated and avoided pressing until the end. I was on a roll and wanted to get it finished. I have way too many unfinished projects and I was scared that if I stopped sewing I would crawl back into bed and this would become another one. In total it took about three hours including cutting time. The only slightly tricky bit is the neck band. Back in the summer I made the Dixie DIY summer Concert tee which uses the same process for the neck and it came out a puckered mess, so I was a bit cautious. I took my time with it and I think it paid off. Look, no puckering –
Okay, maybe a tiny bit but you can’t see it if you squint.
And how comfy is this dress? It is the next best thing to wearing pyjamas. There is absolutely nothing uncomfortable or restrictive about this dress and I love wearing it. As an added bonus when I wore it on the school run, over leggings with my biker boots, one of the teachers complimented me on it and said I looked glamorous! I realise she may just have been being nice but I am trying hard to ignore my inner cynic. And seriously, when I find a dress that lets me wrestle small children, move, breathe, eat and still look glamorous with toast in my hair (yes, I am that woman who always arrives late to nursery looking like she has gone ten rounds with the Tweenies and lost) then I know I am on to a winner. I want to make it again to wear on Christmas day. We’re going to my Mother’s so I will be regressing to the age of fifteen, eating and drinking too much and no doubt behaving in a very un-glamorous manner. Actually I want to make six more of these, one for every day of the week and then live in them until the sun comes back. And it’s only $4.00 for the pattern. Try it, I cannot recommend it highly enough as a quick make that will lift your mood and become a wardrobe staple. Look how twirly it is –
On that note I’m off to find some happy fabric in the stash to make another. Hopefully I’ll get another post in before Christmas, but if I don’t, Happy Christmas, Season’s Greetings and thank you for everything. You guys are the best and I hope you all have a good holiday xxx